The Bible Tells Us We Have Three Enemies
The battle we call spiritual warfare officially began when God declared war on Satan. This is recorded in Genesis 3:15. He declared that a state of hostility would exist between His followers and Satan’s followers. There are several verses that reinforce Satan is our enemy 1 Peter 5:7, Revelation 12:9, John 8:44.
Unfortunately too many people only focus on Satan and his followers. I say unfortunately because even though it’s true Satan is our enemy he isn’t our only spiritual enemy. We have three enemies that are part of spiritual warfare. The other two are the flesh and the world or world system.
Consider these verses:
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11 ESV
Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4 ESV
These verses use warfare terminology. We believe God’s word is inspired which means every word is important. These verses don’t mention Satan. He isn’t in those verses because they aren’t talking about him. They’re talking about the other two of our three enemies the flesh and the world.
We should only attribute to Satan what the Bible tells us. I often hear people say things like, “Satan loves to destroy churches!” or “marriages” or fill in the blank. Nowhere in the Bible does it say Satan loves anything. It certainly doesn’t say he loves to destroy churches or marriages. Why then do people say this? Because we have elevated Satan and we give him way more credit than the Bible gives him.
There was a church the Apostle Paul founded that was having big problems! There were so many problems that Paul wrote a letter to them that we call 1 Corinthians. In the letter Paul addresses 15 different problems. That’s the kind of church mess many would blame on Satan. But here is what Paul said to them.
But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 ESV
Is this interesting? He doesn’t mention Satan! He says they have a problem because they aren’t spiritual or following the Spirit but are acting according to the flesh.
Let’s take a personal inventory right now. Are you spiritual or of the flesh? Do you even know? If you need help figuring it out read Galatians 5:19-23.
In the next few posts we’re going to be talking about our other spiritual enemies. We want to know who our three enemies are, what they do and how to defeat them.
What do you think? Questions or comments are welcome below.